Posts Tagged ‘To hide or not to hide the TV’

Before & After: My Living Room

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I’m living the dream in my new living room! What started as a beautiful light gray color palette is embellished with bright cobalt, deep plum, and a little bit of leopard print. Seriously, everyone needs a bit of Leopard print.

We ditched the dark 70’s wood paneling and covered up the brick fireplace to wrap the room in a beautiful light gray and bring some life and light back into this space.

As you can see, 1970’s was alive and well in this “Before” space. The paneling was dark, the brick, while cozy, felt heavy with the dark beams and minimal lighting. Even the floors were dark! I covered the brick fireplace for a few reasons. First, I felt that adding a wood panels would help the space feel more modern. Second, this is the only place for the TV to live in this space, and the brick did not provide somewhere to hide all of the wiring needed. So all of that now lives neatly tucked away behind the panels! We added a beautiful surround and hearth top from Dekton by Cosentino to give it that little touch of glamour.

Now the floors are a lighter wood with a chic grey octagon rug in a David Hicks pattern from Prestigue Mills.

If you remember from my New House Diaries blog posts, my living room is long, and best suited for multiple seating arrangements. Here you can see a handsome area with the white sofa, newly upholstered tub chairs in my Duralee Spencer fabric, and someone can easily pull up one of my cobalt blue India ottomans from CR Laine to join the conversation! The floral drapery and ikat pillows bring the bright cobalt in without being too bold, and those custom, silk, plum-colored lampshades layer in my accent color on this end of the room.

You see that little pass-through to the wet bar with those charming shutter doors? Yes, I closed up that lovely hole in the wall and I’m not the least bit sad about it!

Now I have the perfect place to hang this original piece by Jane Booth that heavily inspired my color palette! My dogs and I love to sit on this gray velvet sofa which creates a second seating area where once again, you can pull up one of those great India ottomans to rest your feet and see the TV perfectly from here!

I removed those large open bookshelves and replaced them with smaller built-in units with octagonal detailed doors with antique mirror  to house all of the AV equipment on one side and provide great storage on the other side. Making those units a bit more narrow allowed for more space around the window so I could create yet another seating (and work) area!

These lounge chairs and ottomans are a great place to cozy up for a conversation, and during this time of year, to open Christmas presents!

And behind the chairs I tucked his great oval desk and pair of klismos chairs. Perfect for doing a little bit of work on my laptop in the morning with light streaming in from the window, and even better for putting together a puzzle or a mean game of scrabble on family game night!

I couldn’t be more thrilled with my new living room! And if you include the fun retro cushions I made for the hearth, I can seat at least 20 people comfortably in this room for holidays or entertaining friends. The color palette feels effortlessly chic and everyone can really spread out and take advantage of this large space. I’ll be walking you through more of my before and after reveals in my home soon so stay tuned!






Tobi TV: What About the TV?

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Today I’m on a plane to Italy for a little antique shopping. But it’s Tuesday so that means it’s Tobi TV! In this segment we’re talking about the TV.  What to do with it, I mean. Do we hide it, or do we buy the biggest one we can afford and leave it out for all the world to see?

Or maybe the best answer lies somewhere in between. And another thing – do we hang  it over the fireplace, install it in a bookcase, or hide it in the trusty (or rusty) old armoire?


Of all the questions I get asked on the topic of interior design, this one comes up a LOT! And I personally am a fan of embracing the “exposed” TV. They are a big part of our daily lives and we just don’t seem to go to the trouble to cover them up every day, even when we have that option.

So here’s my Tobi TV segment today with my TV tips…

And if you want to follow my lead with your TV at home, here are my Tobi’s Top TV Tips to help you do just that:

1. Just roll with it. If you are watching TV every single day, you aren’t likely to go to any trouble to put it away, right? So let it be. And go simple with decorating around it. You don’t want it to start to look like the proverbial “lipstick on a pig” because you tried too hard to decorate it or cover it up.

2. If your mantel is low enough for a comfortable viewing height, and by placing the TV there it is most visible and functional in the space, then by all means do it. But don’t try to force your TV over the mantel when it’s really too high, just because you think this placement fits the current trends. Function should always be first.

3. TVs aren’t going away anytime soon, but armoires certainly are. If you are a traditionalist when it comes to your interiors and you just can’t get comfortable with the TV being exposed, look for stylish and up-to-date cabinets or a credenza with a TV lift so it can be out of sight when you want it to be, and easily lift up for viewing. Or have your local cabinet shop build one for you that perfectly fits your TV and your room.

Now tell me, is the TV a bone of contention in your household? Do you want to cover it up but others in your house just aren’t for that? Or have you come up with a clever compromise so every in the house is happy…at least where the TV is concerned? Either way, leave me a comment and let me know how the “Great TV Debate” fleshes out in your home.

Thanks for watching today! I can’t wait to tell you about my Italy trip and what goodies I find while I am there. Maybe they will just have to be a part of a future episode of Tobi TV. Stay tuned…


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And don’t forget, if you LOVE my Tobi TV tips, you will really love joining me in person at my Design from A to Z  live event in Dallas March 18-19. After 2 action-packed “Design Days” with me, you will be ready to tackle your most difficult design dilemmas and design like a pro! So head on over to my website while there’s still seats available and grab yours so we can design together in Dallas next month! I can’t wait to see you there.